Sunday, April 29, 2012

Scenic Fairfax Virginia

Route 50

Sunday, April 22, 2012

View from the Hotel Tomo, San Francisco

Fog rolling in, SF

Mission Dolores Park, San Francisco

Cherry Blossom Festival, Japantown, SF

Union Square, San Francisco

Space Shuttle Enterprise at IAD, ready to head to New York

2012.04.22-IMG_1633Heading out to San Francisco on Virgin America 67 from Dulles. The pilot told us all to be sure to look out the right side of the plane and we could see the Shuttle Enterprise mounted on the NASA 747.

Most recent prediction is that it will take off on April 24 (Tuesday) for its flight to JFK where it will stay until June at which time it will be floated on a barge to its new home with the aircraft carrier Intrepid.

More pictures:


Virgin America 67: IAD to SFO

Gate B63

B gate train, Dulles IAD

Heading west.

Friday, April 20, 2012

22nd Stone Lecture, CUA SLIS

Lisa Swei accepts thanks for the contributions of Mathilde Rovelstad
Patrick Timony, Van Dram Award Winner
Deanna Marcum, speaker

Winning ...

Every living thing is, from the cosmic perspective, incredibly lucky simply to be alive. Most, 90 percent and more, of all the organisms that have ever lived have died without viable offspring, but not a single one of your ancestors, going back to the dawn of life on Earth, suffered that normal misfortune. You spring from an unbroken line of winners going back millions of generations, and those winners were, in every generation, the luckiest of the lucky, one out of a thousand or even a million. So however unlucky you may be on some occasion today, your presence on the planet testifies to the role luck has played in your past.
- Daniel C. Dennett, Freedom Evolves (2003)

BioOne: A. Kahan, "Is an Open Access Approach Right for Your Journal?"

BioOne DISCLAIMER: following notes are mine and may not represent the accurate views of the speaker. 

"Is an Open Access Approach Right for Your Journal?"
Alan Kahan, Director of Publications, Entomological Society of America. BioOne 9th Publishers & Partners Meeting. Washington, DC. 20 April 2012.

Well done overview talk that was packed with information. Too many details to fully document here. Looking forward to having the slides available later.

One quick comment on discussion of impact:
Still an open question. Some studies show that OA mostly benefits consumers of scholarly output, not those who cite it. Discussion of some of the pros and cons (or better stated, heated arguments).

Discussion of Open Access
  • What is it: Content available freely at the point of use
  • Comes in different types: GREEN = Author controlled; GOLD = Publisher controlled
  • author can self-archive
  • institutional archive, central repository (PubMed), or other OA repository
  • what is deposited is the peer-reviewed postprint
  • entire article or publication is OA
  • entire journal output is OA (e.g. PLoS)
  • hybrid version where author pays for OA
Why publish OA?
  • increased impact. 
  • ease of access
  • financial
  • philosophical (moral) - for the common good

Just hit 300,000 Flickr views, hope you all liked the pictures!

Earlier today, my Flickr stream hit 300,000 views. Because we all like nice, round numbers, thought I would take note of this. 

See all the pictures, almost 18,000 of them, here.

BioOne: by M. Wessel "How Much Does Fair Use Fix in a Digital Age?"

DISCLAIMER: following notes are mine and may not represent the accurate views of the speaker. 

"How Much Does Fair Use Fix in a Digital Age?"
Madelyn Wessel, JD, Associate General Counsel, University of Virginia. BioOne 9th Publishers & Partners Meeting. Washington, DC. 20 April 2012.

"Librarians are some of the best copyright lawyers out there."

Included a general discussion of fair use (the four factors). Fair use does NOT give you a free pass to use copyrighted material.

2 Live Crew and Roy Orbison will be the touchstones of the talk. Uses the court case of 2 Live Crew v. Acuff Rose (Orbison's publisher) that had been a key element of reuse/remixing. Without this court decision, much of Larry Lessig's work wouldn't exist.

Some examples of other cases:
1. Rogers v Koons (1992). Koons loses case where he used a photograph to make a sculpture. Court says it's not a parody, that it was all about making money, and was fully copied.

2. Blanch v Koons (2006). Koons wins. Copied just a bit of a Gucci ad, changed it a bit, created something that was "transformative". Used it for "the creation of new information, new aesthetics, new insights and understandings."

3. Shepard Fairey v AP (2009)
Fairey sued AP FIRST, as a defensive gesture. Complicated case, but Fairey loses. Remember that Fair Use does not justify being lazy. Also raised question about the role of judicial exploration of artistic motivation.

A number of cases since 2003 have verified that Internet functionality (none to Supreme Court yet) because the underlying technologies depend on copying and indexing (servers store data). The technology is also a friend because it can assist in tracking violations.

Some of these cases have even justified the copying of whole works even when copying is against the interest of the creator (e.g. student papers copied into plagiarism detectors by instructors).

4. Bill Graham Archives Case (2006)
Grateful Dead poster images used in an "artistic collage" format in a book. Dorling Kindersly did not want to pay for use of the images; they used little thumbnail like images on a page. Court said DK, though they used full images in a commercial setting, the usage was fair and setting high fees would discourage further creation of new works.

5. Sedgwick vs Delsman (2009)
Disgruntled employee uses pictures of his former bosses in "Wanted Posters"  to mock the company. Segwick wins.

6. Gaylord v US (2010)
Postal Service sued for use of Korean War Memorial in a stamp. Original photograph was properly licensed, but designer of memorial sues and wins. Unclear why.

6. Cariou v Prince (2011, under appeal)
Prince used aboriginal photographs and adapts them; court decides against the artist. There is risk when a fair use case depends on judicial perception of your motivations.

Some old fair use myths are in the rear view mirror:

1. Market Myth. Just because a market exists, does not mean that you can't use it;
2. You can't copy whole works. Internet technology cases and greater social good have proven this wrong;
3. Fair use is legally risky. No longer true, though owners still use it as a scare tactic; state institutions (libraries, universities, etc.) especially by non-profit educational use is increasingly upheld;

"Whenever a copyright law is to be made or altered, then the idiots assemble." Mark Twain's Notebook, 1902-1903 (

1. Cambridge UP v Beckler (in process)
All about electronic course reserves. Courts have not been friendly to the idea of corporate, for-profit copying w/out permissions fees. Unclear how these will influence this case.

2. Corporations v UCLC (in process)
UCLA wanted to stream films to students (instead of in classroom showing or having screening rooms), suit brought to stop this. Question in the case include is this fair use (esp. if there are protections to stop redistribution, etc.)? With the changes in the types of instruction, make this fair use?

3. Author's Guild v HathiTrust, et al. (in process)
Does Hathi's storage of Google created files violate the rights of authors and publishers? Frustration with slowness of the Google Books Settlement may have led Hathi to move to share content a bit early in the process. Case has lots of angles and the potential to create a real mess in higher education.

Tensions inherent in outdated laws based on an analog universe:
  • Section 110(1) no longer describes what happens in education
  • Section 110(2) failed to address many reasonable teaching needs
  • Section 108 is an outdated mess
  • Section 107 is explicit references as an alternative, never precluded basis for additional activities
If these cases have negative outcomes:
  • will fuel open access initiatives on campus
  • stimulate additional sponsored research open access
  • cause some institutions to rethink policies providing faculty full rights to assign and transfer scholarly copyrights
  • create important incentives to start using Section 203 (1976 Copyright act) allowing termination of transfer after 35 years
  • make the existence of non-profit science and scholarly publishers ever more, critically, important

9th BioOne publishers & partners meeting

Best one day meeting ever.

2012 BioOne Publishers and Partners Meeting
An Annual Seminar to Promote Scholarly Communication
Friday, April 20, 2012
American Geophysical Union Conference Center, Washington, DC

About the Meeting
BioOne’s Publishers & Partners Meeting, held annually, provides an open forum for discussion among journal publishers, librarians, and leading industry providers, and enjoys a robust turnout each year. Attendance is free, but pre-registration is required. We encourage participation by anyone interested in contributing to a thoughtful dialogue on the future of scholarly communications.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery over the Smithsonian, now transfer ceremony

2012.04.17-IMG_1570Just about now, the official ceremony transferring the Space Shuttle Discovery from NASA to the Smithsonian is taking place at the Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport.

Follow along at the following Smithsonian Website!

To the left is a photo I took of the flyover of the National Mall.  Cajun Joel has shot a nice video.

The Twitter tag, #SpotTheShuttle helped you follow along on Twitter.

Here's some of the crowds out on the Mall:

Waiting for Shuttle Discovery

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Be sure to look up tonight to get a great view of Saturn and it's rings!

If you have some good binoculars, or better yet, a telescope, tonight should be a good night to view Saturn.

From the Huffington Post:
On April 15, 2012, Saturn reaches opposition — the point when it is directly opposite the sun in the sky. When it reaches opposition, Saturn will appear in the midnight sky to observers on Earth. The sky maps and illustration of Saturn accompanying this guide shows where to see the planet in the southern sky on April 15 and how it may appear seen through a good telescope.
If you ever wondered what Saturn looked like in early illustrations, Smithsonian Libraries makes available online:

Christiaan Huygens. Systema Saturnium, sive de causis mirandorum Saturni phaenomenon, et comite ejus planeta novo [The System of Saturn, or On the matter of Saturn's remarkable appearance, and its satellite, the new planet]. Hagae-Comitis [The Hague]: Ex Typographia Adriani Vlacq [from the press of Adriaan Vlacq], 1659. Six preliminary leaves, 84 pages, woodcut and engraved illustrations, one folding engraved plate. QB671.H98

Huygens' book was the first to very accurately depict the rings of Saturn and to give some explanation of them (though he, at the time, thought it was a single disc).

Happy viewing!

Starbucks #7845

1425 P street

Sucker Punch at Studio Theatre

The play, Sucker Punch, by British playwright Roy Williams was recently performed at Washington's Studio Theatre.

From the Studio Theatre website:
"Sheldon Best and Emmanuel Brown play Leon and Troy, two London teens with their eyes on the world welterweight championship. For two weeks before Sucker Punch rehearsals began in DC, the actors worked with Rick Sordelet, the show’s boxing choreographer, to prepare for the physically specific—and grueling—work of the play. Check out our Media tab to the right to see photos from training at Chelsea Piers with the help of boxing consultant Gary “the Kid” Stark, Jr."
The staging and direction (by Leah C. Gardiner) was superb. Sheldon Best gave a tour de force performance as Leon.

"What does this vaingloriousness down here?" ... the Titanic, 100 years later

2010-08-22-IMG_9481One hundred years ago, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk. Since then, there has been a wealth of stories, movies, and legends about the ship and its passengers (those lucky and those not).

(ship model at left from the Maritime Museum, Halifax, Nova Scotia)

My own little pet peeve about depictions of the ship are in the smoke funnels. There were four on the ship, but only three were functional - attached to the three boilers - the third provided symmetry and balance to the profile of the ship. And yet in  most depictions of the ship, there is smoke pouring forth from all four. From the illustrations in the recent Smithsonian Magazine story to the multi-million dollar James Cameron film from the 1990s the clearly depicts four stacks of smoke as the ship departs Southampton!

Still, for all the words written on the ship, the most eloquent statement on the tragedy was from Thomas Hardy, whose poem, "The Convergence of the Twain", was published just months after the loss:

The Convergence of the Twain
(Lines on the loss of the "Titanic")

In a solitude of the sea
Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.

Steel chambers, late the pyres
Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.

Over the mirrors meant
To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls — grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.

Jewels in joy designed
To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.

Dim moon-eyed fishes near
Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?" ...

Well: while was fashioning
This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything

Prepared a sinister mate
For her — so gaily great —
A Shape of Ice, for the time far and dissociate.

And as the smart ship grew
In stature, grace, and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.

Alien they seemed to be;
No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history,

Or sign that they were bent
By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one august event,

Till the Spinner of the Years
Said "Now!" And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.

Quote of the Day: And now he belongs to the ... (Edwin Stanton)

That house where Lincoln died, 146 years later147 years ago today, Abraham Lincoln died of an assassin's bullet at the house pictured here. By his bedside after he died, at 7:22 am, Edwin M. Stanton (Secretary of War) announced: "Now he belongs to the ... " and then there is dispute. Did he say "ages" or "angels"?

Perhaps it was "angels" and Stanton was echoing Lincoln's First Inaugural Address where Lincoln called upon the "better angels":
"The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
Or perhaps it was the "ages" and Stanton was seeing the future when Lincoln would become of the American recognized the world over.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Muffin. Half smokes. Hot dog. Pretzel.

Off the Mall hot dog stand

KISS my sassafras (Guns n' Roses? really?)

Fileri via Wikimedia
(the following is why the Internets were built! A random rant about something that has really no impact whatsoever but lets the writer blather off and out to an audience of one or a million and one!!).

Another year of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions and another year without KISS appearing on the list of inductees!

This year, who's on the list? Well, some pretty worthy folk (Laura Nyro, The Faces) ... but those worthy members are also joined by Guns 'n Roses! GnR? Really? Yeah, yeah, saving Rock 'n' Roll from the Hair Bands, bringing a new harder edge to MTV, extending the hard rock ballad to new heights (lows?) of ridiculousness (can you say "November Rain"?).

But OK, I'm fine with GnR in the Hall ... but, who's not there (again)? KISS. Yes, the obnoxious twosome (Gene and Paul and a rotating cast of make up covered sidemen, including one of the most underrated - and unstable - guitarists of the rock era, the brilliant Ace Frehley, and the Catman, Peter Criss) are yet again denied their chance to make fools of themselves in Cleveland.

But let's face it all you snobby Rock Critics, KISS had impact, KISS had hits, KISS has filled stadium seats for almost 40 years (almost as long as it's taken Axl Rose - who has the decency to skip the induction - to release Chinese Democracy!). Nothing against GnR by the way, "Paradise City" is a great song; Slash's Snakepit is great music ... but again, GnR and not KISS?

Here's five reasons KISS should be in the R n R HOF:

  1. Power Ballad: "Beth"
  2. Live Album: Alive!
  3. Great Literature: "Christine Sixteen"
  4. Great Songs: "Hard Luck Woman"
  5. Great Rock Double Entendres: "Rocket Ride"
And that's not even mentioning "Deuce," "Strutter," "Hotter than Hell," "Rock and Roll All Nite," "Cold Gin," "Detroit Rock City,"Lick it Up," "Firehouse" and the list goes on and on and one ...

So, in the words of Aerosmith (rightful 2001 inductees), "Kiss my sassafras!" Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

For the record, the Class of 2012 is:

  • Guns N' Roses
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Donovan
  • Laura Nyro
  • The Small Faces/Faces
  • Beastie Boys
  • The Crickets
  • The Famous Flames
  • The Midnighters
  • The Comets
  • The Blue Caps
  • The Miracles

Early Influence:

  • Freddie King

Sidemen (a particularly worthy crowd!):

  • Don Kirshner
  • Cosimo Matassa
  • Tom Dowd
  • Glyn Johns

Cherry Blossom 100 deely boppers

Fear Google, stickers appearing in Arlington